Online Recipe Book

Mashed Potatoes

Halved from Best American Side Dishes, by America's Test Kitchen, c2005, p267
2 to 3 servings
Prep info
10 min prep + 30 min cook + 20 min process + 5 min finish
Prep time
Not set
Cook time
1 hour, 5 minutes
Time required
1 hour, 5 minutes
Oven preheat


  • 1 lb potatoes (floury ones: russet, Yokon Golds, King Edwards, etc; scrubbed but NOT peeled)
  • 57 g unsalted butter (4 T; melted)
  • 1/4 c milk (original called for 1/2c half and half, not milk + cream, but we don't have half and half in England)
  • 1/4 c whipping cream
  • 3/4 t salt
  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste)


1. Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan with cold water to cover by about 1".  Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the potatoes are just tender when pricked with a thin-bladed knife, 20 to 30 minutes.  Drain the potatoes.

2. In a small saucepan, combine the milk and cream and gently heat until warmed; set aside but keep warm.

3. Set a food mill or ricer over the now-empty but still-warm saucepan.  

4.  With a food mill: Hold the drained potato with a dinner fork and peel off the skin with a paring knife.  Cut the peeled potato into rough chunks, and drop the chunks into the food mill.  With a ricer: Cut each potato in half and place one half cut-side-down in the ricer.  Press down with the handle of the ricer to force the flesh through the holes.  The skin will remain in the hopper.  Discard the skin and repeat with the next potato half.

5. Process or rice the potatoes into the saucepan.

6. Stir in the melted butter with a wooden spoon until incorporated.  Gently whisk in the milk and cream, salt, and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.


Mashed Potatoes with Garlic

Toast 10-13 small to medium garlic cloves (about 1/3 cup), skins left on, in a small covered skillet over the lowest possible heat, shaking the pan frequently, until the cloves are spotty dark brown and slightly softened, about 22 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat and let stand, covered, until the cloves are fully softened, 15 to 20 minutes.  Peel the cloves and, using a paring knife, cut off the woody root ends.  Follow the recipe above; in step 4, drop the peeled garlic cloves into the food mill or ricer with the potatoes and continue as directed.

Time: Start 25 minutes before you would for the above recipe; start potatoes boiling when you pull the garlic cloves off the heat.

Mashed Potatoes with Smoked Cheddar and Grainy Mustard

Follow the recipe above up to step 6.  Stir the butter into the potatoes until just incorporated.  Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the potatoes; add the warm milk mixture; 1 Tblsp whole-grain mustard, and 1.5 oz shredded smoked cheddar cheese (about 1/2 cup); stir until just combined.  Serve immediately.


Notes from source: Russet potatoes make slightly fluffier mashed potatoes, but Yukon Golds have an appealing buttery flavor and can be used if you prefer.  Mashed potatoes stiffen and become gluey as they cool, so they are best served piping hot.  If you must hold mashed potatoes before serving, place them in a heatproof bowl, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and set the bowl over a pot of simmering water.  Be sure to occasionally check the water level in the pan.  The potatoes will remain hot and soft-textured for 1 hour.  This recipe yields smooth mashed potatoes.  If you don't mind (or prefer) lumps, use a potato masher.

Notes from source on garlic variation: The garlic can be peeled after toasting, when the skins will slip right off.  Just make sure to keep the heat low and to let the garlic stand off the heat until fully softened.

SJ Note 3 Mar 2012: We tried the plain version of this tonight, without the garlic or cheese; we used King Edward potatoes, and a ricer because we have one.  I really liked it.  Chris didn't; he found the texture too "liquidy" (I didn't find it liquidy at all), said he'd call them "creamed potatoes" rather than mashed potatoes, and I think he found it too plain: he kept adding bacon bits, salt, and pepper.  I liked it lots, just as written, and definitely want it again.  Looks like it'll be his and hers mashed potatoes.